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Past Speakers and Visitors

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The Corporations and Society Initiative hosts the nation’s leading academics and practitioners to discuss the complex and interacting forces that impact corporations and society.

February 22, 2022

Can the Law Deal With Deception in Business? A Conversation with Judge Jed Rakoff and Journalist, Bethany McLean

From Enron to Theranos, what is the line between hype, aggressive salesmanship, and outright fraud? Can markets deal with deception or must the law help—and if the latter, how well does the law work? Insights from the brilliant and outspoken Honorable Jed Rakoff, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, engaged in a conversation with Bethany McLean, journalist and co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. Rakoff, in addition to writing many powerful essays and briefs on important decisions, is also the author of the 2021 book Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System.

February 17, 2022

Short Selling in Bull Markets with Founder & CIO of Safkhet Capital, Fahmi Quadir

Renowned investor Fahmi Quadir (featured in the Netflix series Dirty Money), discusses the role of the short seller in keeping markets honest and what it takes to stay afloat amidst the rising tide of a bull market. Short sellers like Quadir play an indispensable role in ferreting out fraud and holding companies accountable for what they tell their investors, their stakeholders, and the world at large. But, as we saw during the Gamestop saga, it can be a controversial and often thankless job, involving limitless risk. She shares what it is like to perform this role.

February 10, 2022

Governance Breakdowns: Facebook Files, Bill Gates & Credit Suisse with WSJ Reporter, Emily Glazer

Whistleblower documents, an affair gone rogue and billions in lost revenue are just some of the catalysts causing mayhem at big companies over the last year. Award-winning reporter Emily Glazer, who writes about business leaders and corporate governance, digs into Wall Street Journal investigations into CEOs and board members of some of the largest companies and how their actions exposed major problems.

November 12, 2021

Spreading Digital Opportunities with U.S. Representative Ro Khanna

Ro Khanna, Silicon Valley's California's 17th District 3rd-term representative, discusses ideas in his upcoming book: Dignity in a Digital Age, including an Internet Bill of Rights.

November 9, 2021

Corporations, Governments, and Cybersecurity with Nicole Perlroth

Cyber weapons, including hacks, surveillance, and ransomware can cause enormous harm to businesses, governments, and the critical infrastructure and services we all depend on. Nicole Perlroth, author of the book "This is How they Tell Me the World Ends", shares insights learned from investigating the highly opaque, often government-backed market for cyber weapons and the arms race it has created.

November 8, 2021

System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot with Mehran Sahami and Jeremy Weinstein

Stanford Computer Scientist Mehran Sahami and Stanford Political Scientist Jeremy Weinstein, authors of the recent book "System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot", written with Stanford Political Scientist Rob Reich, discuss how Silicon Valley's "optimizing" culture often clashes with society and what we should do about it.

May 28, 2021

What is Wrong with US Democracy and What Should Reform Look Like?

If American Democracy is broken, who can fix it?  This event, moderated by Didi Kuo, Stanford Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, will educate and challenge the GSB community to understand our country’s political structures and highlight where they need modernization to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Speakers include Anat Admati, Stanford GSB; Daniella Ballou-Aares, CEO, Leadership Now Project; and Alex Kaplan, Policy Director, Represent.Us.

May 28, 2021

Can Business Help Strengthen Democracy? What Solutions Move the Needle?

If American Democracy is broken, who can fix it?  This event, moderated by Didi Kuo, Stanford Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, will educate and challenge the GSB community to understand our country’s political structures and highlight where they need modernization to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

January 28, 2021

Workers’ Rights in a Changing Economy

In an era where corporations are increasingly claiming to work in the interests of all stakeholders, workers’ rights to fair wages, benefits, and treatment are in a tenuous position. Just 10% of U.S. workers are represented by a union, a 50% decrease since 1983. In California, the passage of Proposition 22 enables Uber, Lyft, Doordash and other gig companies to continue to avoid classifying their workers as employees. Even at colleges and universities, subcontractors may not receive pay continuation, may not receive hazard pay, and may lack access to COVID testing resources.

November 17, 2020

Stop Hate For Profit: The Facebook Ad Freeze

During the summer of 2020, the NAACP, the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and Color of Change teamed up on a corporate campaign to freeze Facebook ad spend. The Stop Hate For Profit campaign called on big advertisers to pull spending from Facebook. The message? “Our profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence.” Quickly, socially conscious brands like REI and Patagonia got onboard. Then, big brands – Verizon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, CVS, Pfizer – joined.

October 14, 2020

Inside Amazon: A New Kind of Monopoly

Over the last two decades, Amazon has risen to become one of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world—and many have started to call into question the tactics that it has used and is using to get to and stay at the top. CASI welcomed Stacy Mitchell, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a staunch advocate for policies that help level the playing field for independent businesses and curb corporate power, for a conversation with MBA ’21 Susannah Shattuck about the risks that Amazon poses to consumers, workers, and the market if it continues to dominate unchecked.

October 7, 2020

Democracy, Technology, and Regulation: A Conversation with Marietje Schaake

A  conversation with Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician who served as Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands between 2009 and 2019, moderated by Anat Admati. After the political disruption seeded through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in the 2016 Presidential Election, many are wondering if the internet is just as damaging to democracy as it is beneficial, both in the United States and around the world.

May, 27, 2020

Our Democracy in a Time of Pandemic: A Conversation with Senator Sherrod Brown

A conversation with United States Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), moderated by Susannah Shattuck, MBA '21, with introduction by Professor Anat Admati, the George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics. The discussion covered topics including the legislative process, workers' rights, voting rights, and international trade.

May 19, 2020

Surveillance Technology Governance

As the world rushes to put contact tracing and illness-tracking tools in place to enable effective response to the coronavirus pandemic, privacy experts are raising concerns about exactly how this technology will be built and governed. CASI and the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School co-sponsored a panel discussion on the use and governance of surveillance technology during (and after) the coronavirus pandemic. Our panelists shared their thoughts on how to align private and public sector interests to benefit society and support public health efforts, while also preserving privacy and civil rights.

May 6, 2020

The U.S. Healthcare System and COVID-19: What Are We Learning?

COVID-19 has put substantial stress on every aspect of the U.S. healthcare system, from hospitals, to insurers, to the medical supply chain, to employers responsible for the wellbeing of their employees. Watch a panel discussion on the U.S. healthcare system and COVID-19 with Stanford Medicine Professor Dr. Kevin Schulman and Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, moderated Karin Underwood MBA ‘19, founder of digital health nonprofit CoachMe Health.

April 14, 2020

The Dark Side of Global Finance: A Talk with David Enrich

A conversation with MBA ’21 Ben Ruxin about Enrich's book, "Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and an Epic Trail of Destruction."

April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Bailout Debate: Must Bailouts Go Through the Banking System?

GSB Finance Professors Arvind Krishnamurthy, Hanno Lustig, and Amit Seru joined moderator Professor Anat Admati to debate the objectives, policies, and implementation strategies of the U.S. government’s recent COVID-19 stimulus packages. This video is an excerpt from the longer conversation.

April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Bailout Debate: Does the Government Have the Necessary Expertise?

GSB Finance Professors Arvind Krishnamurthy, Hanno Lustig, and Amit Seru joined moderator Professor Anat Admati to debate the objectives, policies, and implementation strategies of the U.S. government’s recent COVID-19 stimulus packages. This video is an excerpt from the longer conversation.

April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Bailout Debate: Taxpayers' Money, Handle with Care

GSB Finance Professors Arvind Krishnamurthy, Hanno Lustig, and Amit Seru joined moderator Professor Anat Admati to debate the objectives, policies, and implementation strategies of the U.S. government’s recent COVID-19 stimulus packages.

January 30, 2020

How Big Business Influences Government: A Conversation with Professor Thomas Philippon

The Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford GSB hosts a discussion, with Professor Thomas Philippon of NYU Stern School of Business and CASI faculty director and GSB Professor of Finance Anat Admati, about Philippon's book: "The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets."

April 2019

Are We All “Zucked”?: Technology and Power in the Internet Age

A conversation about technology, power, and accountability with best selling author Roger McNamee, moderated by veteran journalist Ann Grimes.

March 2019

Who Controls the Corporation? A Conversation with BlackRock's Barbara Novick

A conversation with BlackRock's Barbara Novick on the meaning of shareholder ownership and the values that shareholders should expect from companies.

February 2019

From Tesla to Wells Fargo: Scandal, Success, and Accountability in Corporate America

A conversation with three experts in legal, reputational, and financial risk to explore causes of, and solutions to, corporate scandals.

John Carreyrou
October 10, 2018

A Conversation with John Carreyrou

A conversation with John Carreyrou, Investigative Reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Author of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, about the rapid rise and dramatic fall of bio-tech startup Theranos.

2016-2018 Interdisciplinary Visitors Program

The Interdisciplinary Visitors Program was developed as a first step in breaking down academic silos to rethink corporations and capitalism. It brought together academics and practitioners with experience and expertise in law, economics, finance, policy, and the media with the goal of challenging assumptions.

  • Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business and Impact at the Ross School of Business

  • Lee Drutman, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation

  • Jesse Eisinger, Senior Reporter at ProPublica

  • Peter Georgescu, Chairman and CEO at Young & Rubican

  • Bethany McLean, Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair

  • Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics at Yale University School of Management

  • Frank Partnoy, George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at University of San Diego

 

  • Jed Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York

  • Sarah Bloom Raskin, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury

  • Kara Stein, SEC Commissioner

  • Sir John Vickers, Professor of Economics and Warden of All Souls College at Oxford University

  • Luigi Zingales, Professor at Chicago Booth School of Business